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This is an official count of the Canadian population every ten years. It gives us a great many
statistics (numbers) about Canada.
1861 Census
This is the start of the “Railway Age” and the middle of the Victorian Era (1837-1901) in
Canadian history. Remember, the comments were made several years after 1861 when the census
was taken.
Use the page of the 1861 Census to answer the following questions:
Religious Creed
1) Which was the largest single church group in Canada in 1861?
2) Protestants exclude the Roman Catholic Church but include all other Christians such as
Church of England, Presbyterian (usually from Scotland) etc. What % of the population
was Protestant in 1861? ____________________________________
3) “Miscellaneous Creeds” counted the Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and so on. How many
of them were in the Canada of 1861? _________________________________________
4) Before 1867 (Confederation), what name was given to:
(A) Quebec ____________________ (B) Ontario ____________________?
5) What was the single largest occupational group (jobs) in :
(A) Canada _________ (B) Upper Canada _________ (C) Lower Canada _________?
6) What was the second largest occupational group in:
(A) Canada _________ (B) Upper Canada _________ (C) Lower Canada _________?
7) What do questions 5 & 6 tell you about where most Canadians lived in 1861?(Cities?)
(B) How many miners were there? _____________

Products of Industry

8) What was the largest crop in terms of bushels (weight) and what was second in:









8) B What was Canada’s largest agricultural product before Confederation? _____________
Where did most of it come from? _____________________________________
9) The Maritime Provinces (NB, NS, PEI) had a different pattern of agricultural products.
What crop did they produce mostly? ____________________________________

Look at The Intercolonial Railway Sheet, The Principal Articles Carried 1880-1901
In Canadian history these are statistics about Canada in the “Railway Age”, also called the later
years of the Victorian Era (1837-1901).

10) In 1880, how many tons of coal were carried ?_______
11) What % of the total freight carried on trains was coal in 1880? ___________________
12) Refer back to Question 7B. What can you say happened to the number of Canadians
employed in coal mines from 1861-1880? _____________________________________
13) Why did the “Railway Age” need so much coal?
14) Look at coal statistics 1894-1898. How do you know there was great unemployment
then, and what indicates (tells) that high unemployment ended by 1900?
15) Grain, especially wheat was our largest agricultural product in the 1860’s. What
happened to grain and flour production from 1880-1900?______________________
16) What happened to “manufactures” (factory-made goods) 1880-1900 ? ______________

17) Using the information from questions 15 & 16, is it correct to say that agricultural jobs
declined during the Victorian era? _____________________________________
17) Is it correct to say that both agricultural and industrial jobs grew during the Victorian
18) Compare the total tonnage of freight carried in 1880 to 1901. What was happening to
Canadian agriculture, lumber and industry?
20) Canada industrialized as factories grew during the Railway Age. In Britain, agricultural
jobs declined at this time and were replaced by manufacturing jobs. Is it correct to say that
Canadian agriculture also became less important as a source of jobs during the Railway Age?